This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sunderland have entered the race to sign Chelsea goalkeeper Nathan Baxter on loan according to the Evening Standard.
Both Derby County and Birmingham City are also believed to be interested in signing the shot-stopper ahead of the new league campaign.
It remains to be seen as to which club are leading the race to land his signature, but Sunderland will be eager to sign a goalkeeper at the earliest of opportunities.
The Black Cats recently lost Jon McLaughlin to Scottish giants Rangers, and are clearly keen to get a deal in place for Baxter.
Sunderland missed out on a top-six finish in League One last season, after the majority of clubs in League One agreed to finish the campaign on a PPG (points per game) basis, so they’ll be hoping they can mount a serious challenge for promotion into the Championship next term.
But would Baxter be a good addition to Phil Parkinson’s squad next season?
This would be a coup for the Black Cats given the calibre of clubs that are interested in him.
Baxter looks to be a very talented goalkeeper who has worked his way up the footballing pyramid with loan spells at Yeovil Town and Ross County, but in truth, he is nowhere near the first-team plans at Chelsea and I doubt he ever will be.
Sunderland are definitely in need of another goalkeeper following the departure of Jon McLaughlin, and the experienced Scotsman leaves massive gloves to fill given how important he has been in recent seasons.
Baxter is obviously much younger and more inexperienced than McLaughlin, but he’d provide Lee Burge with real competition and would be a shrewd addition at the Stadium of Light.
This would be a fantastic move for the Black Cats, though they may struggle with Championship clubs also keen.
With Jon McLaughlin leaving in the summer, Sunderland now have Lee Burge as their first-choice goalkeeper.
I can’t say I’m wholly convinced by Burge, so bringing in Baxter, who is highly rated at Chelsea, makes a lot of sense.
The 21-year-old will likely be hungry to prove himself and a big club like Sunderland is an ideal place to do it, particularly with the Black Cats looking to secure promotion to the Championship this term.
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This is a deal that makes perfect sense.
Sunderland need a goalkeeper to replace Jon McLaughlin, and I think Baxter could be the player to do just that heading towards the 2020/21 season.
Baxter will be eager to make a name for himself in senior football, with first-team opportunities highly unlikely with Chelsea at this moment in time.
The Black Cats will be hoping they can beat Derby and Birmingham in the race to land his signature, as you would imagine that they’re more likely to be able to offer him regular game time next term.